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"Funky Chimes - Belgian Grooves From The 70's - Part 1 & 2"

Richard Youngs

"Inside The Future" & "The Rest Is Scenery"

01-03-2002

Snapshots #7 - Guimo, Paloma, Amor Belhom Duo

Snapshots #7

Guimo, Paloma, Amor Belhom Duo

The last time a band thus burst into our lives, it must have been Don Nino. Previously, Tara Jane O'Neil, M. Ward, Dakota Suite, and Migala had already had the same impact. But let's focus on the Spaniards, as they captured our attention immediately upon first listen to Guimo's debut album. As far as music is concerned, this band (or rather, Guillaume Hermon's band) navigates in the cloudy waters of a folk music of which Migala is especially fond; but above all, it has a similar approach: it draws its inspiration from a whole gang of American bands we love (Lambchop, Calexico, Howe Gelb... ) but, instead of mimicking them and plagiarizing them, it takes hold of the essence of their music and shapes its universe with its own atmospheres and sound. In the end, "There's A Nip In The Air, Boy" is an album haunted by soothing tracks, and soundscapes -- either with or without Guillaume's warm ethereal vocals -- that reveal themselves in slow motion. A gem that has already made its way into our essential records! We came upon Paloma at the time when Laurent Vaissière released his minimalist miniatures on his own label, Darjeeling Sounds. Since then, he's put out an ep on Acuarela and now we look forward to his next (more produced) album forthcoming on the Belgian label 62TV. In the meantime, the impressive French label Alice In Wonder has just released a session that the band recorded last year at VPRO (a Dutch radio station). In this recording, Paloma revisits its old tracks, melting -- always successfully -- folk and pop music (as Laurent has never been able to choose between Richard Buckner and the Ladybug Transistor). For those who've never attended a show of Amor Belhom Duo, a live album was bound to be bloody good news, given how impressive the band is on stage. Of course, it's a shame it doesn't enable you to actually see them and thus marvel at Thomas Belhom's percussion playing nor see shy Naïm Amor turn into a king of the stage, but how delightful to hear new versions of songs we know by heart! In addition, ABD invited several guests to their party: their comrades from Tucson Howe Gelb and Joey Burns, and Autour de Lucie singer Valérie Leulliot. There remains a little frustration, though... Why aren't there more tracks (only eight) when we know how generous the band is on stage?

 
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